Author: Girl Who Writes
Feedback: is beloved.
Pairing: some Mimi/Roger, implied Maureen/Joanne
Word Count: 1350
Summary: Going back to Scarsdale for Passover involved spending over week in his mother's house, being bleated at by his parents for doing nothing with his life and being unmarried.
Notes: I know very little about Passover as a holiday, but instead of plucking people's brains, I did this. I hope it's not grossly inaccurate or offensive, but I did a big of googling for most of the details.
Special Thanks: Google is like some sort of higher power.
Spoilers: Movie and musical.
Warnings: Language, probably
Disclaimer: Property of the Jonathon Larson estate.
Since leaving Scarsdale behind, Mark hadn't really celebrated any Jewish holidays… or really, any holidays at all. Birthdays were marked with bottles of Stoli and a pizza. Christmas was usually met with coffee and holiday wishes. Everything else was just another day, until a seemingly harmless conversation in the Life Café.
It started with Maureen reminiscing about their shared childhood in Scarsdale (and dragging up details of Roger's upbringing that he protested, as it took away from his angry, badass reputation) and Mimi talking about Christmases and Easters out in the suburbs, when Joanne jumped in.
"Are you going home for Passover, Mark?" she asked, genuinely interested.
"No," Mark shook his head and sipped his beer. The last time he'd actually made it home for any holidays was April's last Christmas – Roger and April had spent the holiday shooting up, and Mark had headed home for some peace, quiet and food. He'd eaten his mother's food and edited one of his scripts, but he hadn't really celebrated.
"Holidays are for people with money," Roger always said. "We can't afford Christmas let alone Hanukkah."
Going back to Scarsdale for Passover involved spending over week in his mother's house, being paraded in front of as many conservative Jewish daughters as possible (Mark had thanked every God known to man the day Nanette Himmelfarb had gotten married), fed more food than he'd eaten all year, and generally bleated at by his parents for doing nothing with his life and being unmarried.
And if Cindy was there, with her picture-perfect Jewish family… just the thought of it gave Mark a headache. No, like all the other Jewish holidays, Passover was safest completely ignored.
"Mark's family are kind of … psycho," Maureen added simply, stealing French fries off of Roger's plate. "I spent Christmas with them one year, and I thought Mrs Cohen was going to have an aneurism when Dr Cohen bought home the wrong year of wine."
"When we were kids, it was a lot of fun," Mark shrugged. "Now it seems pointless."
"I still love holidays with my parents," Joanne interjected. "It just seems sad you don't celebrate anything with your family anymore, Mark. I don't think I've seen you celebrate anything."
"We celebrate stuff," Roger pulled away from Mimi to break into the conversation. "When Marky got the Buzzline gig …"
"…when Mimi got clean, we celebrated…"
"…when Benny was pulled from the East Village…"
"... and when Collins was published," Mark finished.
"You went out and got drunk on cheap beer for every single one of those events," Joanne shook her head. "That doesn't count."
The two men shrugged and Mark resumed alternately eating and filming, and Roger resumed making out with Mimi, despite Maureen's protests she was trying to eating, and nothing put her off her food like a straight couple making out.
So, when Passover rolled around two weeks later, Mark was woken up at seven in the morning to someone banging on the loft door. He stumbled from his bedroom to find Joanne and Maureen standing outside, carrying bags of groceries into the loft with the sort of determination that reminded Mark of his mother for a horrible fifteen seconds.
"What's going on?" Mimi stumbled out of Roger's room, wearing his almost see-through Sex Pistols t shirt and a pair of socks, yawning.
"We're celebrating," Joanne said very firmly, as Maureen began unpacking the groceries, her uncharacteristic silence owed to the fact that it was so damn early.
"What are we celebrating?" Roger trailed out after Mimi in a pair of jeans that hadn't been washed in the best part of a week.
"We haven't ever really celebrated anything together," Joanne picked up all the dirty coffee cups littering the metal table and dumped them in the sink. "So I thought we'd celebrate Passover for Mark."
"You're not Jewish," Mark said dumbly, trying to work out if he was actually awake or this was some bizarre dream that came from eating the jelly that was two weeks past its expiration date that he found in the back of the fridge.
"No," Joanne agreed, and pulled a box of doughnuts from the bottomless bag of groceries and offering them out. "I did some research on the internet, and it's not quite traditional. And anyway, Collins'll be home in a few hours, and I thought it would be nice."
Mimi and Roger exchanged looks and took the box of doughnuts back to bed. Mark blinked some more as Joanne began to direct Maureen in the art of washing up and conceded defeat. If this was the jelly, he'd had far worse food poisoning delusions before.
He went back to bed, asleep before he hit the pillow.
Both Mark and Roger reemerged sometime around … well, the clock had frozen at half past three the previous February, but Mark could guess that it was sometime after noon. They stumbled into the loft's kitchen and froze. It was like a Martha Stewart commercial. Except with lesbians and strippers.
Maureen was setting the big metal table with an assortment of chipped plates (some, Mark noticed, borrowed from Mimi's place downstairs) and wine glasses. Joanne was both mixing something in a bowl and instructing Mimi in the art of something. Trays and plates lay around the kitchen, with foodstuffs in different order of preparation, in some sort of organized chaos, but somehow the whole loft was clean. Roger's porn stash had been removed from under the couch, the windows looked shiny, all clothing was missing from the floor and the newspapers folded neatly in the trash.
Mark and Roger gave each other a look and disappeared from the loft as Joanne barked instructions at Maureen. They went to the Life for coffee and more doughnuts to escape the craziness. The Life, where all of this had started.
It was almost six by the time they dragged themselves from the Life and a dozen coffee refills between them. Collins would have returned to talk some sense into the females, and then he and Roger could see if the baked beans in the back of the cupboard were still good, six months after their expiry date.
The loft was warm from the oven being on all day (and Mark wondered why turning the oven on had never occurred to him when the heat was turned off) and the atmosphere was rather cheery. Collins was helping Maureen and Mimi bring the plates to the table, whilst telling them about his antics in Boston. Joanne was collecting cutlery – most of it of the plastic, disposable kind.
"Mark, your mother called," Maureen looked up and grinned. "The message is on the machine."
"Oh god," Mark groaned, unwrapping his scarf and tossing it on the couch.
"Mark, it's your mother. We're sorry you can't be here tonight, but we wish you love. Cindy and the kids are here – with Jonathon, of course – and are sorry they missed you. Call your poor mother, Mark, you never call me anymore."
And it was over. The thought of having to spend eight days listening to her go on made Mark even more grateful that he was in New York.
"Dinner's ready," Maureen bounced.
Chairs were pulled up to the metal table as Joanne filled glasses up with the cheap wine she'd found.
"Hamburgers?" Mark stared at his plate, laughter beginning to bubble up. "You made hamburgers?"
"I found the recipe on a Passover website, Mark," Joanne said warningly. "I am not a cook, I am a lawyer."
As Mark inspected the hamburgers Joanne had spent today preparing, the pumpkin soup for Maureen and Collins who both refused to eat meat, and the slightly wobbly apple cake Joanne and Mimi had managed to craft, he began to laugh. This couldn't have been more different to the Passover he remembered from Scarsdale.
"It's great, Joanne," Mark reassured, as Maureen grinned at him. "Thanks."
"To the first meal that hasn't been old in a week!" Roger lifted up his wine glass, and the six of them toasted holidays that had gone uncelebrated in the past.